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Washington Capitals at Arizona Coyotes Preview: Continue to Roll

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The Arizona Coyotes (12-9-2) wrap-up their five-game series against teams who won a Stanley Cup in the past six years as they welcome the Washington Capitals (12-7-2) to Mullett Arena tonight at 7 p.m. MST.

After rattling off three-straight victories previously, Arizona made it four as they beat the St. Louis Blues 4-1 on Dec. 2.

This victory helped the Coyotes leapfrog St. Louis in the Central Division standings as they currently sit fourth place with 26 points.

The biggest storyline of it all is the play of ‘Yotes goaltender Connor Ingram.

Since recording his second shutout of his career in a 2-0 Arizona win over the Vegas Golden Knights on Nov. 25, the Coyotes netminder has started the last three games after that.

Holding a 10-3 record, 2.40 goals-against-average and .926 save percentage, Ingram is in the top-10 of almost every goalie stat in the NHL currently.

Additionally, he is the NHL’s No. 1 Star of the Week after posting a 3-0 record, 1.63 GAA and .947 SV%.

Yet again, Ingram will get another start tonight vs. Washington as it was first reported by PHNX Coyotes correspondent Craig Morgan.

As for the rest of the Coyotes, left wing Clayton Keller registered an assist against the Blues to continue leading the Desert Dogs on the offensive side of the puck.

Currently, Keller has amassed 8 goals and 13 assists for 21 points in 23 games.

For goals, ‘Yotes forward Michael Carcone has 11, a team high.

Furthermore, Arizona’s power-play remains the sixth-best in the entire league, converting 25.6% of the time while on the man-advantage.

Tonight, the Coyotes have to be wary of the Capitals that have sneakily been one of the better teams in the league, despite the underlying stats saying otherwise.

Capitals Notes

In arguably the toughest division in the NHL, Washington sit third place in the Metropolitan Division with a 12-7-2 record and 26 points.

What is remarkable about them being where they are is that the Capitals are the second-worst team in goals-per-game (2.38) and possess the worst power-play (8.3%) in the entire league. Only the San Jose Sharks have scored less with 1.88 per-game.

Last time out, Washington lost 4-1 to the Golden Knights in a rematch of the 2018 Stanley Cup Final.

Capitals goaltender Darcy Kuemper will start tonight versus his former team, per Bailey Johnson of the Washington Post.

Kuemper spent four seasons with the Coyotes after being traded by the Los Angeles Kings for goaltender Scott Wedgewood and forward Tobias Reider on Feb. 21, 2018.

While in the valley, Kuemper had a stat line of 55-48-15 with a .920 SV% and 2.43 GAA for Arizona.

He would eventually be dealt to the Colorado Avalanche, and won a Stanley Cup in his lone season there in 2021-22 season.

Since then, Kuemper has been in Washington ever since signing a five-year contract the following campaign.

Moving forward, future Hall of Famer Alex Ovechkin has had an unusual season by his standards.

Regarded as one of the greatest goal scorers of all-time, Ovechkin is on pace to record his lowest ever total in his 19-year career.

Ovechkin has at least scored 30 or more goals in every season other than 24 in the 2020-21 campaign that was shortened due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

So far, Ovechkin only has 5 goals and 9 assists for 14 points in 21 games.

Still, he finds himself leading all Capitals in points this season.

History and Injuries

Arizona was 1-1 against Washington last campaign.

First, ex-Coyote forward Nick Ritchie scored twice, including one with just 0:36 left in the third period to steal a 3-2 win on Nov. 5, 2022.

Then, former ‘Yote Dylan Strome had two goals in Washington’s first trip to Mullett Arena, ending 4-0 on Jan. 19.

For injuries tonight, Coyotes center and ex-Capital Travis Boyd is out after taking a hit from Avalanche defenseman Josh Manson in their game on Nov. 30.

No news on if defenseman Travis Dermott will play tonight or not, at the time of reporting.

Washington goaltender Charlie Lindgren (illness) is questionable tonight and right wing T.J. Oshie (upper body) will be out as he is on injured reserve since last week.

Alex Kerfoot’s 3-point night pushes Coyotes to 4-1 victory over Blues

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Alec Cipollini is a reporter of the Arizona Coyotes and Cardinals for Burn City Sports. You can follow him on his X account @AlecCipollini

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